Live Like a Local in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Old Town

Whenever I go up to Edinburgh I always feel like I am stepping back in time or appearing in a Harry Potter novel. I met my good friend Jen, who grew up in Edinburgh, whilst living in Melbourne and have been hopping up to see her twice a year since we’ve both come back to this side of the world. Pete and I have been up to stay a couple of times over the past year, most recently for The Fringe and earlier for Hogmanay. We asked Jen what her favourite spots in the city are…

Jen, Ash & Antie at Hogmanay
Jen, Ash & Antie at Hogmanay

1. What do you love most about Edinburgh?

The amazing skyline. It always makes me so happy when I am out a run or just wandering round the city and you see that skyline with the castle, clock tower and Arthur’s seat. Makes me fall in love with Edinburgh all over again each time I see it.

2. What’s your favourite part of town?

This varies almost monthly! At the moment it’s Leith. I love the pubs and restaurants down there, it’s a really cool part of the city and good to get away from the usual tourist haunts.
Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle looks like it’s about to host a quidditch match

3. Your fave place to go out?

As above! Leith at the moment. There’s cool wee pubs and they always have a good buzz about them. There’s also a new street food market down there called Pitt Street Market – it’s great for something to eat, a few drinks and to listen to some live music on a sunny day – a rarity in Edinburgh!
Edinburgh by night
Edinburgh by night

4. Any restaurant recommendations?

Hanams!! It’s a must go – their veg kebabs, Kurdish style are to die for!

5. Fave bar?

Paradise palms. This is up near the university and has a really cool vibe and is great for a few casual drinks.
Edinburgh Fringe
The Fringe was in full swing!

6. Where is your favourite place to go on a day trip from Edinburgh?

Loch Lomond. It’s so pretty and there is so much to do around there. I would highly recommend climbing Ben Lomond – the views are spectacular and the whole trip can easily be done in a day from Edinburgh.

7. What you would say are the must-dos if you only had a weekend?

Wander round the old and new town, climb Arthur’s seat, walk up Calton hill, visit some pubs and eat, eat, eat!
Pete & Antie on top of Arthur's Seat
Us at the top of Arthur’s Seat at New Year

8. What is your secret local’s tip for what to do in the city?

Use the night buses! It’s much cheaper than a taxi and they are really regular and convenient. It will save you a fortune after a night out.

9. Any recommendations for Fringe first-timers?

This tip is stolen from Ashley Wanders blog as it really resonated with me when I first read it – accept you are going to have serious FOMO. There is so much to see and do when the Fringe is on there is no way you are going to be able to do everything. Take time to chill and just soak up the atmosphere in one of the pop up bars (my fave this year has been George Square).
On top of Ben Vorlich
Great Edinburgh day out – Ben Vorlich

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